Strategic communication

Phase 2: Design your strategy and objectives

Design your strategy: Break down your Big Goal in doable sub goals

Step 1: Decide if your Big Goal is doable

Analyze your Big Goal and decide if it is doable: is it easy to accomplish? Can you do it alone? Is there a high chance of success on short term? If you answer all these questions with ‘yes!’, you can skip the next steps and start to design your objectives to reach your Big Goal.

Step 2: Break down you Big Goal in doable sub goals

Rank your sub goals in difficulty and complexity. Analyze timing: which sub goal do you need to be realize before aiming for the next sub goal?

Step 3: Identify the first ‘guaranteed’ successful and easy-to-reach sub goal

Answer the same questions used in Phase 1 to understand your issue. Tailor these questions to your sub goal:

  • What is the most urgent problem, what is the biggest threat?
  • Who are causing the threat, when do they cause that threat, what behavior causes the threat?
  • How can I influence this behavior with a first easy step?
  • Who do I need for supporting interventions?
  • Who’s agenda has parallel sub goals?
  • Which decisive step would benefit my important stakeholders and partners as well?
  • Can I form a team of partners to cooperate on this mission and make my sub goal a joint effort?

Frog leap!

Now you know where to start, how to focus your energy and engage your partners. It’s time to design your objectives!

Designing your objectives

Moving from long term ambition via doable sub goal to concrete objectives

You have a Big Goal illustrating your long term ambition and guiding your long term efforts. And you have selected a doable sub goal to achieve a first short term success with the stakeholders and people involved. Now it’s time to design your projects objectives which will guide you to reach your sub goal.

Step 1: Design your projects’ objectives

Your projects’ objectives describe the results you want to accomplish. Objectives are concrete and precise. They steer your actions with clear timelines, budgets and personnel needs. Objectives are mutually understood agreements about a specific outcome. It is not a list of all the activities. Objectives allow you to measure your own success.

Setting objectives allows you to understand your role, your responsibilities and the role & responsibilities of your colleagues, partners and stakeholders. You gain a better understanding of the necessary contributions from the people involved. You need objectives to plan coordinated actions aimed at realizing your first sub goal.

Step 2: Design your communication objectives

What do you want to change in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior? Communication objectives can range from involving people in problem solving, to seeking attention for an issue, increasing knowledge or awareness, motivating behavior or developing skills to take action.

Step 3: Check if your objectives are SMART

  • Specific and clear about the results to be achieved.
  • Measurable so we know when we are successful.
  • Achievable: agreement with your stakeholders, neither too ambitious nor too ‘weak’ about the desired change of knowledge, attitudes or behavior.
  • Realistic within the availability of resources, knowledge and time.
  • Time related: indicating when the results should be achieved.

Frog leap!

You designed your objectives. Now it’s time to design the message & means for your strategic communication project!

Download the tool Designing your goal and make the jump